The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
No Limits On Filtering Content
Graffiti is something that has been part of human history and has been responsible for linking much of the modern world to the ancient world. These messages may have been left by officials who were simply leaving instructions for future generations or others who may have come across it. They may have been left my ordinary people just leaving artwork on walls. As time progressed and technology has enhanced, our newest method of graffiti is leaving messages on each other’s walls, usually through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
This kind of technology is an amazing way to show off the things we enjoy reading, uploading and sharing photos of ourselves and our families with others, and of course, just keeping in touch with friends and family. It is a kind of a necessary evil because while we may not want to be addicted to this technology, we find ourselves drawn back to it everyday, checking our walls, updating our statuses, because otherwise, our friends and families may not know we are alive. A simple phone call would actually do, and for our closest family members, it still does. But leaving any of these social networks is almost like a kind of suicide of the “media self”.
This “media suicide” would cause us to lose our updates, lose our voice, in a manner of speaking, lose our way to keep in touch with friends, families, and even the world. For some, they take the leap of faith of committing media suicide and they thrive without social media for weeks, months, and even years. Sometimes they are drawn back to it and other times, they may never return. For others, they may return, but cautiously use it less. It is simply to break their own addictions and enjoy the real world, away from staring at a screen for too many hours a day.
The wonderful thing about social media that definitely keeps us all coming back really is our connection to each other and while there are plenty of arguments that social media alienates us, there is the strong fact that it does actually connect us as well and helps us especially to keep in touch with our families. While I am not on social media sites all day, I may spend the equivalent to about a half hour to an hour a day scanning Facebook, Twitter, and a few other news feeds for randomness, and sometimes I like to share this randomness with family and friends if I find it interesting. Other times I may share it on my own wall so I can return back to it at a later time. Although I must admit, the truth is that I rarely ever return back to the things I post on my walls because they become hard to find, unless Facebook’s memory feature pops up and reminds me about something I posted 5 years ago.
Whether a major social media network got hacked, a political candidate is up to no good, or I just want to share a news article with friends and family, whether they choose to read it is completely up to them. How do I know they have read it? I really have no idea. I assume they have read it from their “like”, “love”, “laugh”, “wow”, “sad”, or “angry” response that Facebook allows, or their “love” or retweet response on Twitter. Twitter gives slightly more data and lets you know whether it was just an “impression” or if it was actually clicked, though it cannot tell you if the person actually read the article. That is about all the data Facebook and Twitter really allow a person to have and probably all the data that they can give you, though there are likely other features that can be built, but this information is currently not available to us.
Anyways, regardless of what I post, I try to filter what I post. There are quite a few things that I post where I end up later deleting it, or I end up deleting it before I have even posted it. Why? Because it is some horribly written article or some disgusting photo that I came across that I thought was funny at the time, but probably does not really belong on my feed. This is known as my “personal filter” and most of us have it. However, you already know where I am going, don’t you?
There are those friends and family who have no idea what a personal filter is. They post anything and everything, from racists memes to almost nude images to random crap about anything and everything. Then they will post things like, “If you annoy your friends, you will come across $100”, or “If you don’t comment ‘Amen’ on this post, you are going to end up in hell.”, and then there is something like, “If you find my posts offensive, go ahead and unfriend me.” Of course, sometimes I find their posts funny and other times they are just enjoyable eye candy, for the most part.
But then, there are those posts that make you question your family or friends’ actions about posting what they posted. What did they just post? Why would they post that? What could have made them think that was okay to post? Because they were without a filter and they have no idea of the ramifications of what a post means. Maybe it means nothing. Maybe it represents something. Who knows what the actual post represents. But for the most part, we can assume that our social media walls are kind of a personal representation of who we are and what we represent, so what we post on it could possibly represent the things we are interested in or like too.
I admit that I have actually had friends who have asked me personally to remove my posts from their wall, deleted the post themselves, or even removed me as a friend because they were offended by what I had posted. No big deal. I found something that offended you, I will try to post more of it. Maybe not on your wall, but definitely on mine, and I’ll be sure to tag you. (Kidding… maybe.) But for the most part, I respect their wishes and don’t bother posting on their wall anymore because well, they kind of become ‘debbie downers’ and its no longer fun to post on people’s walls that don’t like things posted on their walls.
Then there are those times when other people are happy to share many articles, memes, and other images with you, as cute or offensive as they may be, and it seems to be of normal etiquette until the time when it is not. In those times, what exactly do you do so you do not offend the person who posted it?
In this case, it was my own mother. I am normally a person who can accept just about anything that is posted on my wall. I tolerate just about everything I see on my news feed. It is hard to offend me. I love things that are probably considered unacceptable by most; that might make people angry; that cause a stir or make people feel uncomfortable; I certainly never mind any of that kind of stuff. I have posted plenty of it myself and I have seen plenty of people post it themselves, along with plenty of people that have posted it on my wall. I would probably have expected a post from any of my friends, maybe even my fiancee, but it was from my own mother. When I saw it, I was speechless.
All I can say is that what has been seen can never be unseen. I questioned my own brother and sister about it. I even searched their walls for the same post. Maybe my mom shared it with them too! Neither one of them had received this post from her!
To my sister: “Do you think it was meant for you? I mean, it is technically relevant to you and not me. I get that it is November and I definitely follow the tradition of not shaving in November, but really, it is more relevant to you. I could understand if she posted about some guy and his beard, but she posted this!”
To my brother: “In no other time in the history of mankind was it ever possible for any mother to post a picture of an unshaved vagina on her child’s ‘personal wall’… just sayin’ … thanks mom! I definitely needed that!”
Now I get it, I am my mother’s son, and she created me. I can definitely be perverted and kinky and I am sure somewhere in my Google history, I have search queries that I am definitely not proud of nor could I even explain. There are things that I was curious about or things I was just thinking, “Hey, do people really do that?” There are even times where I am looking for photos to place on articles for Confessions of the Professions, and I type something in the wrong way that has led to what has been seen can never be unseen. It does happen. I can only hope that if I am ever investigated and my search history is ever seen that I am at least given some consideration.
Well, it turns out that I thought I was beyond limitations and anything my mother could have ever possibly seen in her life, but no. I have a filter and it turns out, my mother does not. There is nothing that my mother will not post on her wall or mine. My mother seems to have no shame at all. I do not know if she does not care about what she posts on her wall. I do not know if she does not care who sees it. I do not know if she realizes that every one of her friends can usually see her posts, and the things she posts on my wall, can also be seen.
But when she posted this, and I woke up, saw the notification, and went to the post, and saw it. All I could think was, well, this is just awkward. Coming from my mother, it really was awkward. And really, how do I bring it up in conversation to her? “Hi Mom, you know that unshaved vagina you posted on my wall? What was that about?” How do I tell her that this one photo, which was kind of awkward and offensive to post on my wall, was probably not something she should have posted on my wall, for all of my friends, and her friends to see?
I mean, yes, sure, I am a guy, though I am not a gynecologist, but I do enjoy seeing vaginas. It just happens to be that I probably enjoy seeing more maintained and shaved vaginas, and in more appropriate places that are not so public, where my friends, my acquaintances, and other family members can see it. I mean I don’t really go actively seeking out vaginas in my everyday life, but if the opportunity presents itself…. sure. I mean, nowadays, I am engaged to my lovely fiancee so there is that, and that is that. And so, being the loyal man that I am, I will say that is the only vagina I need to see.
Well, as far as it stands, I was not really asking any of you for advice, because I really do not have the heart to tell my mom that I found her post offensive. I do not have the heart to tell her what she can and cannot post on my wall. She is my mother, the woman who gave birth to me and raised me. As far as I am concerned, I love my mom and she has earned the right to post whatever she wants on my wall on any social media network she finds me on! I just know that my mom has absolutely no filter and has now defeated me in posting even things that I will not post. She has let me know that she is the master in this world and that if I do not find something offensive, she will find the one thing that will offend me. I guess it is her job to let me know that she is and always will be number one in my life. Well played mom, you win. I accept the defeat, mom. And of course, I love you mom!
So I guess the point of this confession is, as professional as you think you are or how professional you try to be in your life, no matter what title or position you hold at your company, no matter how many accomplishments you have achieved, or awards you have won, or how many states you have visited or lived in, or the fact that you have graduated from a renowned university, or the fact that you bought a house, and are getting married, someday your mom might post an unshaved vagina (this is the actual photo that she posted — please remember: WHAT HAS BEEN SEEN CAN NEVER BE UNSEEN! I apologize in advance, but I did warn you! VIEW AT YOUR OWN RISK! THIS POST HAS BEEN MARKED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY FOR THIS REASON) on your wall without any explanation because your mom can post whatever she wants on your wall!
UPDATE: After writing this confession, I asked my mom why she posted it on my wall. Her response: “No shave November, duh!”